Lagat Wins Second SBC Cross Country Title

October 27, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Geoffrey Lagat did it again.

The sophomore from Kapsabet, Kenya, successfully defended his Sun Belt Cross Country Championship with a winning time of 24:14.23.

"Lagat ran a great race," said head coach Dean Hayes. "He was up with the leaders the entire time and he took the lead a little over four miles into the race. He kept pushing and won by about 20 seconds."

Even bigger for Lagat is the fact that he got a measure of revenge by defeating Seth Bortey from Arkansas State, who had beaten him in an earlier race.

Lagat toiled in relative obscurity within the conference this season despite a win and two runner-up finishes in the three races in which he had run prior to the SBC Championship.

The Blue Raiders utilized Lagat's strong performance to finish fifth in the meet. Levi Sybert continued his strong running with a 12th place finish at 25:59. 31. Anthony McGary was the next Blue Raider to cross the finish line in 20th place at 26:37.33.

"I thought all of our guys ran well, especially the top three. We ran about as good a race that we could have," said Hayes.

Steve Safstrom finished in 46th, Carlos Gonzales was 51st, and Josh Carroll was 59th. The Blue Raiders day was rounded out by Bryan Picklesimer in 66th position.

The Lady Raiders didn't fare as well in the championship. The team finished in 11th in place with Erin Russell pacing the team in 48th place.

The Cross Country Championship is the first event of the season that adds points in the All-Sports Trophy Race.

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